Monday, January 10, 2011

The 311-Step Program For Fitness

We discovered a new exercise program today: climbing the 311 steps of The Monument. The Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London (isn't that about the same time they were building mud houses in Santa Fe?).

The Monument

The Fire began in a baker's house on Pudding Lane on Sunday, September 2, 1966. It was extinguished on Wednesday, September 5 by smothering the flames with exploding gun powder. The Fire destroyed most of the City, including St Paul's Cathedral.

Robin contemplates The Fire, The Monument, and The Climb.

Sir Christopher Wren, a famous architect and Surveyor General to King Charles II and also in charge of rebuilding St Paul's Cathedral, along with his friend Dr Robert Hooke, designed the Monument. It's the tallest free-standing column in the world, measures 160 feet to the viewing platform, 202 feet including the gilded torch on top. There are 311 steps to the viewing platform. The 202 foot height is the same as the distance between the base of the Monument and the site on Pudding Lane where the fire began.

Looking down the stairs in the interior of The Monument. Only 200 more steps to go.

The viewing platform was originally open to unobstructed views, but in the 1800s The Monument became so popular as a suicide spot that it was necessary to install a netting of steel cables.

Checking out the views of London. The Tower Bridge is in the background.

I think this Monument thing would work well on the Plaza in Santa Fe. Views of the Santa Fe River and Acequia Madre. Awesome.

The Thames and Tower Bridge.

View from The Monument, looking North.

Barely visible and dwarfed by most other buildings, some of the walls and towers of the famed Tower of London can be seen behind the twin curved roof tops in the photo above